GOODMEN: Guy talk with Actor J. August Richards

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You are the writer of the series Giants. Talk about the inspiration behind this project? How long were you working on this for?  (Previous projects include Angel, Agents of Shield, Notorious). 

I had to get involved in the show because it was the opportunity to do something without asking permission. That’s what we drew me to the project. My friend James Bland did the whole first season himself. He wrote every episode, directed most of the episodes, and he just wanted to tell his story. I helped him from the sidelines. I was a consulting producer on the project. I would read his scripts, watched his cuts and it was turning out so well. Then he aired the first season. Issa Rae and James have a business relationship, and she saw it and liked it, so she decided to put it on her platform. So the show ended up being so successful that he was able to get a lot of sponsors and more money to make a second season. James decided to hire a writers room, which I’m a part of, as well as a few other writers. He also chose to hire different directors to direct each episode so he could focus on his acting. I directed the first two episodes, and that’s how I got involved. 

Is directing something you’ve also thought about pursuing?

When it was time for me to choose what college I was going to go to I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a film or theater major because I have an equal passion for acting as well as directing. It was a tough call, but at the very last minute, I decided that I would be a theater major. I decided that I would spend the first half of my career focusing on acting and becoming the best actor that I could be. Also, I wanted to learn by being on set by watching what various directors do. At this point in my life, I’ve watched hundreds of directors work. I have always taken notes about what I thought was effective or ineffective. Over the years I’ve also been directing simultaneously, while I’ve been acting. I wrote and directed a musical in high school and college, two short films and a few other plays. So I’ve always been directing throughout the years. 

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Can you share what your experience was like when you first moved out to Hollywood?

Well I was fortunate because I moved out here to go to college, so I had that protective environment in which I had the opportunity to thrive in L.A., I make myself very available to other actors here in L.A. I have a lot of young actors who I mentor. I worry for them because this is a challenging environment to move into without going to school or having a protective environment. It’s a very isolating town. I was very grateful because all of my best friends are the people that I went to college with and twenty years later we’re all still best friends. So I have a tight-knit group of people who whether I’m up or down they love me. That’s what scares me for other actors here in this city: your value is based upon where your career is. People will drop you or pick you up based on how successful you are. The most important thing you can do is to surround yourself with people who love you for who you are.

Cocktails: If you could have a cocktail with anyone, who would it be? What would you drink? What would be your first topic of conversation?

There are thousands of people I would want to have cocktails with, but in this exact moment I feel like I would want to have a bottle of scotch (specifically Lagavulin) with Tilda Swinton. I feel like Tilda Swinton is an actor that I could learn a lot from. I’ve watched her work, and I feel like all of those things that I’m working on, that I want to be better at in my acting, she has down. I would love to work with her and drink with her. I feel like she has this “fuck it” attitude deep down in her spirit that I wish that I had. 

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If we were to spend a day with you on your day off, what would we be doing? 

I wake up, pray, and meditate. Then I go to Starbucks and get a Blonde Roast Coffee. I come back home and watch TV. Then I go to the gym, work out for an hour and a half, go into the steam room then I go to lunch. I come home and watch tv again. In the evening, I’ll go out for dinner or do something with a friend. Hopefully later that night one of my favorite shows are on (The Assassination of Versace). That show right now is my favorite show, and then I’ll watch something on Netflix. After that, I’ll go to sleep. Oh, and I will also try to go to the spa at some point in the day. There are some great Korean spas here in L.A. I would go to the Korean Spa and get a body scrub after my workout which feels so good. Those are my days where I have absolutely nothing to do.

You’re the definition of pure inspiration! Can you share a time where you felt like giving up? How did you overcome that? What advice do you give to others when it comes to following their dreams? 

Before book Agents of Shield, I was out of work for about eighteen months. Before that, I only had two guest star roles. I had a very long dry spell for about three years. I think that was attributed to the fact that I was in my mid-thirties, but I looked like I was in my mid-twenties. I think it affected the way I was cast. During those three years, I had a tough time booking roles. So much of my life changed because of that. I look back at it now and think it was the most significant period of my life because I learned that I could not look to my career, popularity, money, attention, etc for self-esteem. During that time I learned the true definition of self esteem-how to generate it from within. I think that is the most important thing anyone can walk through this life with. It is the ability to validate yourself from within. Not looking at anything on the outside to make yourself feel good. For you to be able to feed yourself by yourself. I think that is the greatest gift anyone can ever have. If I ever have children that is the only thing I want to teach them. 

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What’s a mantra/quote that you live by daily?

Who cares?! That’s the mantra that I live by daily. It’s powerful for me because I tend to make everything too important. The reality of the situation is that you think that something is so important and other people aren’t thinking about it five minutes later. 

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." -With that said, what would you like to see manifest in the next year for yourself?

I would like to see myself engaged in a creative activity with a group of people who inspire me towards more magnificent artistry and greater humanity. I want to be working on something that I feel has the potential to make people feel alive. I would also like to do that in my personal life. I want to be surrounded by a community of people who are connected and interconnected. That’s all I want.

That has nothing to do with winning awards, making a lot of money, or being very famous. It has nothing to do with any of that. When I look at Giant, I feel so successful because that is what I just described. It doesn’t matter if the whole world knows about it. I know that people who need it will find it and it will mean something to them. That’s the only thing that I care about.

Complete this sentence: Never have I ever….

Been to Africa...and I want to go (laughs).




GOODMEN: Guy talk with Psychic Medium Tyler Henry

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Photography by: Yu Tsai 

When we talk about Good Men we know Tyler Henry is on the top of our list. He is more than a medium and it is apparent that he emanates a very pure energy. Tyler truly wants to help people and not only does he have the gift but he has a beautiful heart. Speaking with him was an honor. Grab your cocktails ladies and gentleman. You don’t want to miss this interview.

You have your show Hollywood Medium, which has been a HUGE success! You’ve helped so many people connect with those who have crossed over to the other side. Talk to us about the first time you became aware of your own abilities and then how the show come about?  Did you have to do a reading for the producers (laughs) before it was picked up?

This all started for me when I was only ten years old. I had a premonition of my grandmother’s death. One night I just woke up and knew that she was going to pass away. I didn’t know how to explain it, but I just had this feeling. I went into the room and tried to tell my mom, and as I was explaining to her that we needed to say goodbye to my grandmother, we got a phone call. My mom picked up the phone, and it was actually the news that my grandmother had just passed away. I started working professionally as a medium when I was sixteen. Through word of mouth, I ended up reading various people, and my first celebrity client was Sarah Paulson.

How did the show get picked up by “E?” What was the process like for that?

It was funny because it kind of just fell into my lap. What ended up happening was I went to a Christmas party where I met our executive producer, and he was interested in a reading but was also a bit skeptical. So we sat down the next day, and I did this reading for him, and it really blew his mind. I made a very close connection to a friend of his. When he realized the impact this could have, he stood back and said, “wow this is interesting, maybe this is something that could be brought to television.” We shot a sizzle with three readings and, within about a month, E had offered to give us a show.

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It’s been said that many psychics and mediums actually can’t predict their own future. Do you believe this is true? What has been your experience with this?

I find for myself, that I am rarely able to tell my own future. In the times that I am, it usually has to do with something that is a life or death situation. For some reason, I think I am not able to read myself as much, and I really think it’s because of bias--because as human beings we have our own hopes, fears, and expectations and it’s difficult to put that to the side when it comes to ourselves. There are cases where if I am about to be in a dangerous situation, I will get a gut feeling. In fact, when I was eighteen years old, I had a premonition about a near death experience where I was actually in the car with my mom. We were driving, and I looked over at her and said, “mom, I think my brain is swelling.” Three weeks later, I was hospitalized with brain swelling and had to go into emergency brain surgery because I had a brain cyst. That was a life-changing moment.

If you could have cocktails with anyone living or dead (which you could haha) who would it be, and what would you drink?

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Edgar Allen Poe would definitely be my answer. I would have chocolate milk (laughs).

Most people know you as “Tyler Henry, the medium” but who is the real Tyler? If we were to spend a day with you on your day off, what would we be doing?

Well...I rarely have a day off, (laughs) but when I do, I end up doing the most boring thing possible. I just lounge around, take naps, and watch tv. I’m literally the most boring person when I’m not working because what I do requires so much energy. I spend time doing a whole a lot of nothing. I’m an only child as well, so I feel like it’s important to be able to decompress and be able to have that alone time.

Every one of us faces challenges and challenging times. Was there ever a time in your life you felt discouraged? If so, how did you overcome this? What advice would you give to others based on your own experience?

Definitely. I grew up in a very conservative and religious community. In the very beginning, when I would share these feelings that I would get with people around me, I dealt with a lot of religious opposition. In one case, I had shared something with a girl who I was going to school with, and she ended up telling her mom. Her mom held a prayer circle for me in the local church. I heard about it at school the next day, and it was really painful at ten years old to have someone hold a “prayer circle” for your soul. That experience was actually interesting because in the years that followed after this woman heard about me a little more and she actually ended up asking me for a reading (laughs). It kind of came full circle. I realized from that experience the importance of staying true to who I was. Even when it’s difficult, it’s important to stay true to who we are because it could ultimately be something that we can use as a gift later on. We may not realize that at the moment but what makes us unique is a gift and if we can stick with it, it can really change our lives.

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If you had a roundtrip ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go? If you could bring only one item with you what would it be?

I would probably go to...Tahiti and I would take a toothbrush (laughs).

Share a mantra/quote that you live by daily.

I would say, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
— Tyler Henry

It seems as if there is the possibility of an “after-life” even though it hasn’t been scientifically proven. There have been many people who have come out and shared their stories when they have “died for a couple minutes” and come back to life. They share similar stories of seeing loved ones, having an out of body experience and not being afraid of death after their experience. They say it’s a place of “unconditional love” and light. Some even say when they communicate with people it’s as if they are telepathically communicating.

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Can you share some words of wisdom for people who might have a fear of death? Also, for those who have lost loved ones, can you share some encouraging words with them that the people who have crossed over aren’t actually far from them?

Absolutely. My work as a medium reminds me every single day that in doing over a thousand readings, that our loved ones are never really that far away from us. They are always connected to us. I’ve also seen through my own near-death experience how the other side is not that far away. Anybody could be in the position where they face potentially transitioning. I think it’s vital that we know that our loved ones are around us through the validations we see and feel. Harnessing our own intuition is a significant part of that because it can allow us to see the signs when they are there, and it can help us navigate our lives.  

If we want our loved ones who have crossed over to come to visit us, how can we ask them to do that?

I think people should have more of an open dialogue with their loved ones and communicate with them as if they are still here in some way. I do believe that they pick up and feel our intentions. They can express a purpose back, and I often see that through signs and my own experiences.




Fitness, V7, #GOODMEN

Fitness tips with celebrity trainer Alec Penix


Three fitness tips everyone should know for the summertime:

I base everything off exercise, diet, and sleep. For exercise, I would think people want to focus on the core. In the summertime, you’re in a bathing suit, and everyone wants to look good. For me personally, I’ve been really ramping up when it comes to my core. I want to look great as well. Targeting the core is important regarding exercise. When it comes to sleep, it’s essential that you get an ample amount of sleep because the most change happens while you are sleeping. People are constantly hustling, and they don’t actually realize that all the hard work with the exercise part is thrown out the window because they aren’t sleeping.

It’s not necessarily the amount of sleep you get. It’s more about when you sleep that is most important. Researchers say that when you sleep before midnight is equivalent to four minutes after midnight. Everything is based on light. I try to go to bed before midnight and try to get as much sleep as I possibly can before midnight. I try to wake up when the sun rises. Everything is based on rhythm. Once the body sees light, everything starts to be engaged.

How can people integrate mindfulness and faith with fitness?

Everything is connected. The mind, body, and soul are all linked. For me, I was always physically fit, but I wasn’t necessarily “spiritually or emotionally” fit. I wasn’t completely fulfilled. Something was missing. Wellness for me encompasses it all. I realized I needed to start spending more time feeding my spirit with a healthy diet. Initially, it’s about understanding and putting your attention towards the mindset, “I need to start approaching my life in a way where I focus on my physical well being as well as putting my intention towards the spiritual side.” I feed myself with what I watch--inspirational things or reading scriptures and quotes. All of that stuff becomes habitual in your life. You become what you preach. Your inner man matches your outer man.

That’s very profound. I don’t think a lot of people always recognize that.

I think as a society we don’t always look at the emotional and spiritual aspect as something that is important. We pay attention to what we see every day in the mirror. We neglect this other side of us, and I’m telling you from my personal experience as well as my client’s experience, that people come in here unhappy. They achieve these fantastic physical goals, but they still feel empty. There is still something missing. For my practice, I always have the intention to connect with my client and build that relationship with them. I want to feed them in the most positive way so that when they leave here, they feel better about themselves.

They see you as a coach.

It is vital for me to embody that. I just want to connect with them because I want to share what I know and share who I am. I feel inspired and want others to feel the same.

When you’re authentic and coming from that place, it allows others to respond in the same way.

It becomes a “heart” thing, and when it becomes a heart thing it turns into something that is emotional, and when it becomes emotional, you can break those walls down, and that’s when you see lives change.

Share some tips on how people can fit in workouts while they are traveling.

I think it’s important to have the right expectations when you travel. I train so many people who are motivated to do their workouts. They get discouraged when they travel because they can’t maintain what they are doing here--that’s just not realistic. I tell them to try and make their habits the same as they are at home. Do the best you can and don’t  try to make these “impressive gains.” Try to maintain your lifestyle because by doing that, you are keeping it more familiar. When we keep things more familiar, we feel more comfortable, motivated and inspired. I would say do what you can with what you have. So if all you have is your hotel--there are so many resources out there (YouTube, Instagram, etc.) to help us and you can even do a ten-minute workout. Just get the blood going and the sweat going. Squats, push-ups, planks, and crunches. You don’t need much space to do these workouts at all.

How is your book Seven Sunday’s different than other books?

My book touches on both faith and fitness, which is an incredible concept and so unique!

A lot of times people achieve these physical goals, but something happens after that. They sort of “fade away.” My book is different because it’s really about focusing on the heart of the individual first and foremost. With this book and this journey I take them on--I want to pull those “weeds” out from our past that created these bad habits. With most exercise books, we try to “get in shape,” but we aren’t understanding emotionally and psychologically what is going on inside us of us. All of us are dealing with stuff. With Seven Sundays, I want to take them on a spiritual and physical journey so people can understand what is happening on a deeper level and not only look for what is in the mirror.  So the goal is, once the journey is over (Seven Sundays), I want them to be able to sustain it as a lifestyle. I’m great with people achieving physical success, but I want them to achieve emotional and spiritual success as well. I want them to be able to have more fulfillment and purpose in life, to spend more time with their family, give more, and share more. All of that is super important to me, but that doesn’t happen from just doing twenty-one days of ab work. It’s really about understanding what is going on inside of the individual so they can healthily approach this process. I did that by creating a devotional--I take them through something called the six pillars of promise. I won’t go into too many details, but it’s about creating those habits in us that brings us to a place where we are starting to feel better about ourselves and loving ourselves so we can give and share more. It’s forty-three days total. I’ve gone through experiences where I’ve heard people say “do it for twenty-one days, and it will become a habit” but I’ve tried that, and it doesn’t work. I needed more time and wanted to expand it to forty-three days. I can’t wait to share more with you.



Interview with Goodmen Cover Guy Riley Smith

Working with Riley was such an enjoyable experience! He was very down to earth and easy to talk too. I love how real and open he was during our conversation. He was humble and sincere about his views and feelings on what it’s really like to be in the entertainment industry. He’s got A LOT going for him--a music career, a new series coming out on FOX, and moving to Chicago! Riley DEFINITELY is one of the “Good Men.” Grab your cocktail and find out for yourselves!  

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For me, trusting your gut and intuition has always been the most significant and most important thing.

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In my closet

Usually, it’s a Levis denim jacket. I have five of them in almost every color. I’m almost always wearing a Levis jacket. There’s also these Red Wing Boots which I have seven pairs of. They are from Red Wing, Minnesota which is in the midwest where I’m from. They are supposed to be work boots, but now they are hip and cool. I always have these on with a denim jacket (laughs).


Elvis Presley. I would drink whiskey, and we would eat fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches (laughs). I would ask him about life and everything about him.

If you spent a day in the life with me... we would play music. 


I’m about to start working on a new tv show for FOX called Proven Innocent by the co-creator of Empire (Danny Strong) and written by David Elliot.

What is it about?

It’s about a group of lawyers who represent wrongfully convicted people. It’s kind of about the Innocence Project. I play a guy named Levi Scott. The show centers around Levi and Madeline Scott (Rachelle Lefevre) who plays my sister. We get falsely imprisoned for ten years for a murder that we didn’t commit. The show is really about how that affects people who finally get out of prison after being wrongfully accused. They never get out of that shadow. During the process of that, my sister starts a law firm to represent people like us--wrongfully convicted felons. It’s about trying to set the truth free.

  Jacket: All Saints / T-shirt: John Varvatos / Jeans: Levis

Jacket: All Saints / T-shirt: John Varvatos / Jeans: Levis

Talk to me about the process of booking that role. Was it an audition? Was it an offer?

I had not auditioned for a very long time. I had been getting offers, but this one was for a network that I had not worked with in a while (FOX). I was told that I would have to go read for the director and producers. I was ecstatic because I loved the role and I knew that I was going to be right for it. I literally said to my manager, “I’m going to have to do it if I’m going to get it so I might as well do it now.” I went in and read, and I knew it went well. They called and said they wanted me but they had to get the sister first because she was the lead and I had to make sure I matched her. It took them a month to find Rachelle. In that month, I kept passing on other pilots, and I knew I just had to trust the process because this was the role I wanted. It was the first script I read, and I knew I just had to be patient and wait. I left L.A. during pilot season and went to Nashville and recorded seven new songs. I told my manager, “call me when they find the girl, and if I don’t match the girl, then I’m not going to do a pilot this year.” It was either this one or none. He called me on a Friday twelve days later and said, “get your ass on a plane back to L.A. they found the girl, and you look like her. You might have to screen test on Monday.” I flew back to L.A. immediately and then, sure enough, they called me the next day and offered me the job. They were like “how soon can you get on a plane to Chicago?” I just landed from Nashville, and I did my laundry, re-packed my bags, and flew to Chicago that night. It all worked out, and the show got picked up. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Everything lined up.

  Jacket: All Saints / T-shirt: John Varvatos / Jeans: Levis

Jacket: All Saints / T-shirt: John Varvatos / Jeans: Levis

Who was the first person you called when you found out that you booked the role?

My mom is the first person I call every time.

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Can you share a time in your life where you trusted your intuition? So we can encourage people to believe their own inner voice as it can lead you in the direction you are meant to go in.

For me, trusting your gut and intuition has always been the most significant and most important thing. My experience with Proven Innocent was the icing on the cake. By trusting your instincts, you’re making the right choices, and it all paid off. That would be the prime example. I was on a show called Life Sentence this past year, and they had not been renewed yet, but they had not been canceled either. They were up in the air, and something in my gut told me that I need to see what else is out there for me. I didn’t know where they were going with my character’s storyline. No one was really saying anything to me, but in my gut, I just felt something wasn’t right. Everyone on the show was like, “you’re crazy, they love you, and they are going to write for your character next season." Even my managers and agents said, “they just signed you to a big deal, why do you have these feelings?” After the very last episode, I went to the creator, and I said: “would you let me out of my contract?” They were very cool about it, and they didn’t have to be. I owe them a lot of gratitude for allowing me to trust my instincts. It ended in a very significant way for everyone. Everyone was very gracious. It ended perfectly for me (laughs) because I got the other show.

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Another one would be--one time I was switching managers about twelve years ago. It felt like I met with every management firm in the city. I narrowed it down to two, and they were both great. One of them gave a razzle-dazzle-- “promised me the world” type of speech. The other company was very down to earth, honest and made no promises. I walked out of that meeting and looked at my agent and said: “that’s where I want to go.” She was like, “are you sure? The other place is offering the world. They gave such a good pitch.” It was almost too good, and something in my gut just tells me that I need to go to the place that is more honest. I went with them, and it was the best move I ever made. I’ve been with them for twelve years.

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This is a challenging industry to be in. Was there ever a time you felt discouraged? How did you overcome that? What advice would you give to others based on your own experience?

Jacket: All Saints / Shirt: Lucky Brand / Jeans: All Saints / Boots: John Varvatos / Sunglasses: Les Specs / Blazer: Lucky Brand

I have had moments where I felt really down. It was interesting because I was going through an age change--I wasn’t playing a kid anymore. I was in between ages, and I had my own identity crisis. I was trying to figure out who I was and who I was going to become. Everybody in the industry was trying to figure out where I was going. I kept saying to people around me (my managers and agents) “I’m not doing anything different.” I just have to keep trusting the process and doing what got me this far--not trying to jump ship or change the game plan. I mean obviously, the only way you are going to get better is by accessing and tweaking and always molding yourself to be better. However, there is something to say about trusting your gut and the game plan. I feel that a lot of people in this industry that move to this city are chasing what they think they are supposed to be or how are they supposed to act all the time. They are constantly reinventing themselves, and they are just throwing darts trying to be whatever they think is the right thing. The first thing my manager--my very first manager-- told me when I moved to L.A. from Iowa was, “what separates you from everyone else is that you’re from Iowa. So don’t change and don’t become like everyone else. Stay unique and true to who you are.” I think that’s the best piece advice I ever got because I did listen. Here I am, to this day and still wearing my cowboy boots (laughs). I’m a blue-collar midwest guy, so there was no reason for me to be something I’m not to please other people.

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Imagination is a preview of life coming attractions. What do you see yourself manifesting for yourself in the next six months to a year?

It’s funny because the name of my corporation is a Tabula Rasa Productions. I wanted something that meant fresh starts and new beginnings, and that’s precisely what tabula rasa means in Latin. I literally googled it, and that’s what came up. In the last three years--almost every year for me--I’ll get a show that will last for one season and then it will go away for one reason or another. Every reason is different, and then you have to start all over again. It’s like getting knocked down in a fight, but you just get back up and keep punching. This is the third year in a row that I’m getting on a show that has been picked up for thirteen episodes.  Right now I’m trying to manifest and visualize this new beginning, a fresh start, original character, a new network and going back to Chicago which is around my home area. I grew up three hours from there, and I have a lot of friends and family in that area. I’m really manifesting it to last(laughs). I keep saying, “third time’s a charm”--this one is going to be longer than one year. I would really like to settle back down in the midwest doing what I love to do. I want to continue to grow as a man, become a better person--human being and that will come across in my work, and I just want to be happy.

Style Team




#GOODMEN: Dance, choreographer Louis Van Amstel

Dancer, choreographer, and creator, Louis Van Amstel is a star. Initially, on Dancing with the Stars, Van Amstel has branched into business as a co-creator of LA Blast. His motivation consists of following his gut and bettering other's lifestyle, both nutritionally and physically.

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You’ve had a tremendous amount of success working on “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance”! You started dancing at the age of 10. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this as a career path?

No, I did not always see myself wanting to pursue dancing. The first two years I did it to please my grandparents and my mom who were both dancers. I did it for them, but then when I did the first competition, I liked how it felt. Growing up I dealt with bullying; I was a binge eater, an emotional eater-thank goodness for dance. It’s kept me from the chopping block of not just being overweight but fat.

People now don’t believe me, or they think “What? You were bullied for being fat?” Dance became therapeutic for me. So far, twenty-five years later,  I have a mission with LA Blast. It’s not just about doing a workout. There is so much more depth to it. Most people that are bullied are emotional eaters. Most people that are obese or heavily overweight-there is a reason or a story behind that. Often, bullying and self-esteem issues as a kid are the culprit as to why later in life people will not go to the gym or a dance studio. I want to change that and I know it’s a significant and challenging mission, but if I don’t try, I will never know.

You have a dance fitness program called La Blast Fitness! Congratulations! Give us the deets.

I started LA Blast nine years ago with Lisa Rinna. It was after Season 2 of Dancing with the Stars when we went on tour. The pros go back every season, but the celebrities don’t. Lisa was so addicted, and she said, “Louis, you have to start a class.”  

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Well, nine years later it’s a worldwide brand. We have three formats: Fitness, Line Dancing, and Splash. Our newest venture is LA Blast Online, so we could reach people in rural areas, people that do not want to go to the gym either because they don’t like to workout or because they are too embarrassed to go out in public because of self-image issues. With our online program, we want to promote an exercise for people that generally would not go to the gym but still would love to learn how to dance. Of course, with Dancing with the Stars, which has been on the air for thirteen years (25 seasons) there are millions of people that would love to learn to dance, and that’s what LA Blast is all about, all the dances we do have been on Dancing with the Stars.

Congratulations! That’s so exciting. So anyone can sign up?!

Anybody can sign up. It is mainly for people that think they can’t dance, people that believe they are uncoordinated. I wanted to create it in a very logical way. We keep it very simple so that anyone can feel successful. I have yet to find someone who says “I’m bored.” People become better at it and more involved. We have two sides to our online program: Silk Side and Shape Side. It’s really for everyone, even professional dancers who are retired and are in their fifties or sixties that would love to dance but will never go to class with twenty-year-olds. This is for anyone who would like to learn to dance and use it as an exercise.

Can you share a few fitness tips with us to staying in shape no matter what time of year it is?

I have a lifestyle that allows for having fun with food and eating whatever I want. However, I am conscious of it. I believe in conscious eating-not in dieting. You can eat whatever you want, but you are accountable. When I go on a three-week spree between December 15th and January 8th, I will eat whatever. I already know, that in my mind, I am in the gym or LA Blast for that matter. I am creating tours where I do nationwide master classes because I know that I’m going to burn so many calories. This year what I did was I consciously planned between December 19th and 22nd, fifty master classes of an hour each. Each hour I probably burned nine hundred calories. I did that on purpose because I know when I go into the holidays I can eat whatever I want. I have it planned where there would be weeks you are going live a disciplined workout lifestyle. If you do that for six months, you are going to be so unhappy with yourself and then what happens is everything you’ve done in the past six months goes down the drain. If you say, “let’s do a few weeks here and then a few weeks there” where you are disciplined and you are making a plan. There is a beginning, middle, and an end. It’s similar to a project.


My advice is to stop dieting and start becoming aware of what you eat. Ask yourself, “are you eating for emotional reasons” or “are you eating it because you are craving it?” If you really want it, then eat it. It’s the difference between “am I eating my emotions away” or “do I emotionally crave chocolate?”

LA Blast Challenge:

We have a weight loss challenge for LA Blast. One lady who is obese lost thirty pounds. I’m telling her to “calm down” because it’s been less than two months. I’m happy for her, but I don’t want her to do it for the wrong reasons. It should be about a lifestyle change and do a little bit at a time.

When People Join...

It’s $9.99 a month, and they get new workouts every month. They get nutrition and health advice. There is recipes, no diet, and they are just healthier versions of what you would eat. We also have a Facebook form only for LA Blast online members. I’m personally on there every single week asking how things are going. People share things that are lovely to see, and it feels like we are building a community with our online presence.

If you could have cocktails with anyone, who would it be? What would you drink? What would be your first topic of conversation?

I do like my Diet Coke (laughs), and then I would drink a lot of water. It would have to be with my husband. Lately, the topic has been adoption. We are going to adopt within the next two years.  


What feels right as the creator is when you positively affect someone’s life. We do that now with our company. It has a very noble mission of helping others. Getting people certified is one of them. It's great when they can start teaching locally in their area, or they can even do it online. We want to take this a step further. There are so many children out there who have been born into this world who might be drug babies or alcohol babies or then there are couples who thought the child would help their relationship, but then these children became orphans. We would love to become parents to kids like that. I can’t wait and then twenty years later to see them thrive. I’m looking forward to that challenge-to become a grandparent and to say you know what “we left a good message behind and we did our part to make this a better world.”

Can you share a time in your career or life where you felt you had a hit “a bump in the road” or felt like giving up? How did you overcome this? What advice would you give to others based on your own experience?

I’ve had my share of burnouts. What I learned when I was a kid is that “movement when you dance” is not only about the physical body. It’s the physical, mental and emotional self. We had to develop the physical side, the athletic side, and then the mental side-understanding, gaining knowledge, cognitive behavior. Then it was about experiencing that-the emotional self, the spirit, and the soul. As a dancer, I was developing this. When I was about twenty years old, I started emotionally feeling, “I am not in control over my life anymore.” At the time, my partner and I were third in the world. We just had to wait one or two more years, and we would become world champions, but for some reason, I knew what I didn’t want that anymore. I took a leap of faith and followed my gut. I stopped, and the whole dance world was against me, my teacher was upset with me and so was my partner, but rightfully so because ballroom dancing is a partner dance form. I couldn’t do it anymore though because I was unhappy. This was when I  realized with LA Blast in the last ten years that there are so many people who are in that place where they stay in something whether it’s a marriage or career. They are doing it but “aren’t in it” anymore. I felt blessed that at that moment I followed my gut because I went back six months later and I was a new person. When I made that decision to stop at the time people had told me, “your career is over.” In 1994, I was back with the same partner, and we became world champions in 1994, 1995, and 1996 back to back.

My message to the world is, follow your intuition-follow your gut. Your gut is always right. The gut feeling is a balance between the physical, mental and the emotional.

I decided in 1997 to move to the United States, and it came out of nowhere. Twenty years later, I look back, and I have made my best decisions in life intuitively.

What is a mantra/quote that you live by?

Stay in your lane. Don’t be affected by other people.

Fast forward one year from now: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions (Albert Einstein).” What would you like to see manifest in your life a year from now?

Manifestation: My company is at a point where we can officially start the process of adopting children.

Complete this sentence: “Never have I ever…”

Been skydiving



#GOODMEN: Darcus Beese Named President Of Island Records

Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced that Darcus Beese OBE, a renowned and iconic British music executive, has been named President of Island Records, where he will join UMG's U.S. label leadership team.

Photo Credit Rankin

Beese, whose career includes working with Amy Winehouse, Florence Welch and breakout star Sigrid, among many others, as well as leading Island Records U.K. since 2013, will succeed David Massey as President of Island Records in New York. Beese's appointment is effective July 1.

In making the announcement, Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman, and CEO of UMG said, "Few in the music industry have Darcus's track record of creative and commercial success. I've had the pleasure over the years of working closely with Darcus, who has impeccable creative instincts and takes a long-term view of artist development. I'm thrilled he is taking on this new role and I'm excited to support him in signing, developing and breaking many more artists."

Beese said, "Island Records was founded nearly 60 years ago by Chris Blackwell to serve as the home for boundary-defying and maverick artists with the ability to move popular culture. To this day, that mission continues to define and drive Island, whether in the U.K. or U.S., and I couldn't be more proud to play a role in carrying on that legacy. I'm grateful to Sir Lucian for this opportunity and I'd like to thank my U.K. boss and friend David Joseph for his generous support through the years. I'm looking forward to working closely with Michele Anthony, Monte Lipman as well as Eric Wong and the excellent team at Island."

Island Records U.K. has been Beese's home for nearly his entire music career. He started as an intern in Island's promotion department in 1989, and worked his way up through the company, holding numerous jobs including A&R director, where his signings include Amy Winehouse, Sugababes, and Taio Cruz. Winehouse went on to sell more than 30 million albums and won five Grammy awards in 2008 for Back to Black and its breakout single "Rehab," including Best New Artist and Record of the Year.

In 2008, Beese was named co-president of the label with Ted Cockle, where artists they developed include Mumford & Sons, and Florence + the Machine, two groups that have gone on to global acclaim, selling millions of albums and selling out world tours.

Beese was named President of Island U.K. in 2013, overseeing the careers of established Island artists including Annie Lennox, PJ Harvey, Robbie Williams and U2, alongside breakthrough new acts including Ben Howard, Big Shaq, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Disclosure, Hozier, Jessie Ware, JP Cooper, and most recently, BBC Sound of 2018 winner Sigrid, as well as helping break U.S. artists in the U.K. including Ariana Grande, DNCE, Drake, Hailee Steinfeld, Nick Jonas, Nicki Minaj, Post Malone and The Weeknd, among many others.

Beese was honored as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list 2014 for services to the U.K. music industry.

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Photo Credits: Universal Music Grou



Meet Girl Bosses


#Goodmen: Ever wondered who designed the Jean Paul Gaultier's bottle?

Marc Ange is a French Artist & Designer currently based in Los Angeles. He develops concepts for hotels, restaurants, boutiques and private residences from both his studio in Paris and LA. He is most recently known for “Le Refuge” unveiled at Milan Design Week and subsequently exhibited at The Beverly Hills Hotel, and for the design of Jean Paul Gaultier’s newest award-winning fragrance, Scandal.



Among his current projects, Marc Ange is designing LA’s newest Downtown lounge and Restaurant (coming Spring-Summer 2018) and preparing for the unveiling of his new furniture pieces for Milan Design Week 2018. Marc Ange is Creative Director of ljedition.com.

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Photo Credits: Marc Ange team.



He's a Good Man! Jesse Metcalfe

Jesse Metcalfe is the definition of a “Good Man.” Yes, he is extremely good looking and charming, that is a no-brainer, but I admired how honest he was and how he is entirely unapologetically himself. Jesse seems like the type of person you would go to if you want someone to give you a direct answer and not the one you want to hear (laughs). 


Jesse metcalfe

He has already had so much success and is continually making GREAT moves in his career! We cannot wait to see his upcoming projects! All right ladies, grab your cocktail and start reading!

-Senior Editor Shruti Sadana

What's new? 

I am about to go back to Vancouver to shoot Season 3 of the series Chesapeake Shores which is on the Hallmark channel. It is also on Netflix internationally. I have so much fun with that because I play a country music singer and I do sing and play guitar in real life. I write a lot of the music for the show so it is an opportunity for me to show people what I can do musically. It seems to be working. The show is getting great ratings and was picked up for a third season, so I am really happy about that.  I have Escape Plan 2 coming out later this year with Sylvester Stallone, Dave Bautista, and 50 Cent. It is a sequel to the original.  It is an action movie about a security team led by Stallone’s character who is hired to break out of a maximum security prison. It airs in August-towards the end of the summer.  

If you could have cocktails with anyone living or dead who would it be? What would be your first topic of conversation? 

I am really into music so maybe....Mick Jagger. That would be pretty cool. He seems to have lived the ultimate musician's lifestyle. He had a crazy long career-it’s had longevity. He has a lot of energy and stamina for a man of his age (laughs). I guess I would want to know his secrets to vitality. I would want to hear the story of the glory days of The Rolling Stones and some of the stories of the many ladies he had in his life and have a little guy talk (laughs). He seems like an incredibly interesting person, obviously, and an incredibly talented person so I am sure he had much wisdom to share. 

What’s the one product or item currently in your closet that you cannot live without? 

One item that I cannot live without...is a great leather jacket. I always have a favorite leather jacket in my closet. At the moment, I have this leather motorcycle jacket from Saint Laurent that is probably my favorite. You always gotta have a great black leather motorcycle jacket. 

If we were to spend a day in your life doing the things you are most passionate about what would we be doing?

Probably riding motorcycles...maybe doing a long journey with a group of really cool guys on some vintage motorcycles. 


I believe in manifesting things and visualizing, sure. However, I think more important than that is doing rather than thinking about something or talking about something and then taking steps to achieve that goal.

This industry can be robust. Was there ever a time you felt discouraged or felt like “giving up?” How did you overcome that? 

Yeah there has been a few times I felt discouraged. Probably once a week. You have to be very resilient in this business. Once you get some time under your belt-I have had nineteen years in this business and what was once important isn’t important anymore. You hopefully gain wisdom and gain a different perspective. It is funny that you ask that question because I was watching a cool documentary last night on HBO (The Zen Diaries of Gary Shandling). Gary Shandling was a successful comedian, writer, and the host of It is Garry Shandling Show.

He had a television and film career, but he was a very emotional guy. He took everything that happened to him in his career and his personal life to heart. It ate him up. This business can eat you up if you let it. You have to be able to compartmentalize, and you have to be able to control your emotions because not everything that happens to you is an assault on you. You have to try to see things clearly and put things in perspective. Then there’s also everything concerning what’s written about you on the internet or in a magazine.

It is pretty easy after you have been in this business for a while to completely detach from that stuff. I do not google myself, and I do not read tabloid magazines. I do not have any desire too. I am not feeling this crazy struggle of “oh my god do I google myself today or do I buy US Weekly?” I could not care less and hopefully when you have been in this industry a while; you can get to that place. There are many people that never get there, but hopefully, most of us do. I have. 


I work hard every day and try to maintain good relationships and friendships with people. I believe that good things happen for good people-people that are honest, have integrity and work hard.

As Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." When you look back and reflect on what have you manifested for yourself, what are your thoughts? What do you see yourself manifesting in the next six months to a year? 

Everything. I manifested everything along with having some good fortune. There’s a certain amount of luck that comes into play as far as making it out here in Hollywood, but once you get that opportunity, I guess that is the luck part, it is about what you do with it. I am a firm believer in hard work. I believe in manifesting things and visualizing, sure. However, I think more important than that is doing rather than thinking about something or talking about something taking steps to achieve that goal. If you do something every day, which I do, to better myself as a person, as an actor, creator, an influencer then you are moving in the right direction. I am in a place in my life and career where I am saying “yes” to everything as opposed to being critical to “Oh, is this the right move?” I am trusting my gut a little more. I think that is something that comes with age. Everything seems to be playing out well. I think I am a better man than I have ever been. I have much structure in my life, and I also have a lot of love and support. I work hard every day and try to maintain good relationships and friendships with people. I believe that good things happen for good people-people that are honest, have integrity and work hard. That is where I am at right now. I cannot hope for much more than I have. I am in the third season of a show, I am getting nice opportunities on my hiatuses, and I do the things that I love with my spare time. There’s been a lot emphasis for me lately on music. I just completed two semesters at the Musician’s Institute for guitar. I am hoping to write and put out an album in the coming year or two.

We know you are in a great relationship with the beautiful Cara Santana. Share one secret behind making a relationship thrive. 

There are so many facets to making a long-term relationship work that it is difficult to give that one answer to having a successful relationship. One thing that I would say is people that believe they are “good” in a relationship and that maybe the longest relationship they have had (four years, five years, six years) they have no idea. The biggest challenge and biggest reward come from when you have been in a long-term relationship over ten years. I think that once you reach that mark, it is really about hearing the other person, making time for the other person, understanding them, and sacrificing for them. That is really what makes a relationship work. It cannot be about you all the time.


---Finish this sentence….never have I ever….

Compromised my integrity. People will do almost anything to get ahead. I never have. At the end of my career, I hope to be taking a line from Frank Sinatra and saying “I did it my way.” 

A mantra that works for me was given to me by a friend that I made who was also a mentor. He would always tell me “just stay on level five.” What that means is you do not want to let yourself get “too high on yourself” or “too low on yourself.” It is about how you feel about yourself, and it is not necessarily about your accomplishments or your failures. It is about how you feel about yourself in those quiet moments when you are not in front of the camera or on a red carpet. It is those quiet moments when you are alone at home and feeling okay about “you.
— Jesse

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Photo Credits: Jesse's team

Keep up with Jesse on




Goodmen: A conversation with Showtime hit show 'Shameless,' actor, Steve Howey.

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Talking to Steve was like talking to

a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. He was warm, personable, and had a deep, profound perspective on life. I could have picked his brain for hours! After our conversation, there were certain things he said that really stuck with me, and I instantly felt positive. Even though we had this conversation over the phone, I just know Steve exudes a certain contagious and magnetic energy.  I know all of you will be just as inspired as I was after you read this interview.

-Shruti Sadana, Style Verify Senior Editor. 


Whatever belief you have, you are going to go through lessons, hard lessons, and everybody has lessons to be learned. Now, you can take these experiences, and you can either make them as a cross to bear; horrible or negatives in your life and think that you will never overcome them or take them as obstacles to overcome. Now, if you try to overcome these challenges, you will realize that everybody has problems and everybody has issues to work out, every single one of us. From the rich and successful to the lowest common denominator of humanity. The lowest of the low, meaning where they come from like a third world country and poverty. Some people that have nothing have everything. Some people that have everything have nothing inside. Read the full article in our magazine here


#GOODMEN: Colorist Michael Canalé


Michael Canalé is pushing the standard in the hair industry after being titled the most sought-after colorist and co-creator of “The Rachel.” Best known for being Jennifer Aniston’s long-time colorist.(He, along with stylist Chris McMillan, created the coif that later became known simply as the "Rachel"), Canalé is frequently called upon by celebs, models, and industry elite for his innovative technique and a keen eye, including, Jennifer Aniston, Heidi Klum, Shakira, Penelope Cruz, and Carolyn Murphy. Since the beginning of his career, Canalé has been a real pioneer of his style, leaving clients with hair that is healthy as it is gorgeous. Highly regarded for his corrective color method, he focuses on the natural beauty of hair, making sure to protect and prevent damage.

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If that was not enough, Michael Canalé has created Canalé, a gentle but effective line of products using hypoallergenic formula. Four products that work together as a core system to cleanse, condition, nourish and thicken the hair. Including a dry "touch up" shampoo, which helps extend the time between water washes- creating a virtuous circle of less frequent and gentle washing that extends color life and improves the condition, starting at the follicular level.
On top of his line of hair products, Canalé has been voted "Best-of-the-Best" by Allure Magazine 14 years in a row and praised by Vogue as "not only really good; he is really fast." Canalé personally travels between locations in Rancho Santa Fe, San Francisco, Dallas, New York, Washington DC and Beverly Hills, making sure that each of his clients gets the hands-on attention they need to look and feel they are very best. With over 30 years' experience, his work has been recognized and published in Allure, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Women's Health, Elle, Marie Claire, Redbook, Glamour, and New Beauty, to name a few. Most can agree, Michael Canalé is a rare talent and definitely among the best in the industry.


Goodmen: Breakout Actor Giuseppe Bonifati

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Breakout star Giuseppe Bonifati makes his American film debut opposite Michelle Williams as attorney 'Iacovoni,' in Ridley Scott's soon to be released thrilling crime drama, All the Money in the World, in theaters December 22, 2017.  
Set in Rome in 1973 and inspired by historical events, All the Money in the World follows the complex story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted, strong-willed mother Gail Getty (Michelle Williams) to convince his oil tycoon billionaire grandfather Jean Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom. It is a struggle against time to save her son and with the help of unlikely ally and Getty's adviser, Fletcher Chace (Mark Whalberg), that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.

Giuseppe Bonifati was drawn to the arts from an early age. He developed and perfected his craft by enrolling at the prestigious Paolo Grassi School of Dramatic Arts in Milan, named in honor of the late Italian theater organizer Paolo Grassi. Following his studies there, Bonifati continued his schooling at the National Academy of Dramatic Arts Silvio D'Amico in Rome and the International Theatre Workshops in Venice. He currently holds the position of artistic director for the performing arts group Divano Occidentale Orientale, creating and directing all pieces for the company, which has toured throughout Europe and Central and South America. Bonifati is also a published poet and playwright. His works include Ritratto all'Ombra, 21:31 (mi sento morire) and Pepe El Bastardo Impaziente e Innamorato.
A real Renaissance man, Bonifati is fluent in five languages (Italian, Danish, Spanish, French, and English), and is trained in four dance styles including ballroom, salsa, tango and waltz and plays the guitar.


Goodmen: Actor, Bernard David

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Bernard David Jones brings his comedic acting chops - perfected during his time spent at CollegeHumor - to primetime TV in one of Fall TV's new comedy series The Mayor (Tuesdays (9:30|8:30c) on ABC).

Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, Bernard David Jones realized, at a young age, that he was born for greatness. He started acting and singing in church, and he later joined a performing arts company. With this organization, he traveled the USA sharing his gifts with everyone. Bernard attended high school at Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts. After graduating, he continued his education at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, where he joined KAΨ Fraternity and received his B.A. in Theatre. While in college, Bernard given the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in an international tour singing backgrounds for Grammy nominated singer Lyfe Jennings.
Bernard's first professional show was at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta where he played 'Lil D' in Andre 3000's Class of 3000. 

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From there he went on to play 'Mushu' in Disney's stage production of Mulan and originated the role of 'JB' in The Real Tweenagers of Atlanta at the Alliance Theatre.  Around this time, Bernard also started working in television, taking advantage of the booming Atlanta TV industry, appearing as 'Milo' on Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns (TBS) and House of Payne (TBS). He has also appeared on Single Ladies (VH1) opposite Isiah Washington and Lisa Raye. After a nearly decade stint in Atlanta, Bernard made a move to his current location in Los Angeles, where he soon booked the feature film THE LOOKALIKE, opposite Justin Long, Jerry O'Connell and Gillian Jacobs. From there Bernard finetuned his comedic chomps, joining forces with indie powerhouse CollegeHumor and starring in Refinery29's YouTube series Shitty Boyfriends opposite Sandra Oh.
Bernard currently resides in Los Angeles where he has a penchant for fashion and is an accomplished photographer.


#GOODMEN: Get to know Actor,Kyle Schmid


We cannot get enough of a 'GOOD MAN,' and our interview with Kyle Schmid proves it. He is talented, handsome and compassionate to name a few. Currently, you can find Kyle on the hit military drama series “SIX,” from A+E Studios and The Weinstein Company. The series on HISTORY that premiered to 3.9 million viewers follows a Navy SEAL Team of Six whose mission to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan goes awry.  

Kyle is well known for his lead role in BBC America’s drama “Copper” set in 1860s New York City.  His other credits include “Being Human,” “Lost Girl” and supernatural drama “Blood Ties.” You can also see Kyle in The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pans, The Pacifier, The Covenant and A History of Violence. READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE.


#GOODMEN: Actor, Michael Steger

Surround yourself with people who are going to support you, understand you and who are positive influences.
— Michael
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When we started this #GOODMEN series, we knew we were looking for particular type of men. People that are motivating, great boyfriends, husbands, sons, fathers you know a 'GOOD MAN.'  So, adding Actor Michael Steger to our list came naturally.  We all know Michael from 90210, as the handsome Navid Shirazi. What some do not know is, he is also a writer, producer, a father and a wonderful husband to his seventh-grade sweetheart. One of our favorite qualities and we say (one of) since there are so many, he is a strong believer in women's rights. Although the 90210 reign is a little behind him, he stays active in so many projects we are elated that we had a chance to pull him from his schedule and have a great conversation.  

Read the full interview in our magazine here.



all Photography provided by David Bromstad


You can go hard, or you can go home, so kicking off our first Designerlebrity feature we opted to do both! Designerlebrity, David Bromstad has faced HGTV’s most challenging competition show, Design Star and won it in 2006. From there it was all about the journey to build his brand and get his stylish products into our homes. Performing like the Rachel Ray of the design industry, David is in high demand after almost a decade of hosting multiple television shows, being featured in numerous magazines and partnering up with companies like; Bed, Bath & Beyond, Grandin Road and DuPont™ Corian and Zodiaq just to name a few. David is a pill. One dose of his creativity, energy and infectious personality and you can go into a design high for an hour. Lucky for us we can get our fix every week as David is back on TV! 

Creativity is something all of us are born with and develop throughout our lives. Let your inspirations, your vision, and your personal design aesthetic translate into your personal masterpiece with your interior designer/decorator.
— David Bromstad


It is great to see you back on HGTV and giving us a perfect summer show to watch. Your new show is called Beach Flip. With a four competing team circus and you along with co-hosts, Nicole Curtis (“Rehab Addict”) and Josh Temple (“House Crashers”) acting as Ring Leaders, what should viewers expect to take away from watching this show?


Most of my art is pop art so obviously, I would pick any of my fantastic pieces to add some fun and excitement to a space. My favorite! I couldn't say because my collection is like my children; I love them all but in different ways.

Photo via HGTV.com

Viewers can expect to see the fantastic energy and enthusiasm shine through all of us when watching the new show. We are all great friends, and that made it much easier to be natural and organic. I love that each host has similar ideas but very different styles which make the show even more attractive. It is like adding three wonderful spices to a pot of soup. Each spice adds a unique flavor. I could not be more pleased with my co-hosts and the amazing talents of the contestants. It was an absolute blast to film. This show was such an amazing experience for all of us, participants included. The homes are relative and similar to many of the places our families rented or vacationed at living on the coast.  


We smell a trademark. Josh Temple’s ‘Hojentor’ label is spot on for the new hybrid hosts needed for this show. A 'Hojentor' is part Host, part Judge and part Mentor. It seems tough to effectively execute each trait. How are you able to tap into each of these personalities without the help of medication?

Photo via HGTV.com

LOL! It was a bit challenging at times. It is similar to having three chefs in the kitchen all cooking the same dish. You have to express all of your professional opinions and critiques but always remembering we have different styles and personal taste in design. Respecting this made it much easier to tap into others personalities on the show.


From your previous shows you’ve competed and hosted on you share a passion for art. In fact, you create your own pop art for many of the design projects you work on. Where does your unique expression come from and are you still painting?

My expression and inspiration come from everything around me. My travels, my friends, food, nature, I am inspired by everything in life!


Photo via Grandin Road

You have a long list of collaborations with top industry partners that share in your vision of producing great products for the home. Most recently your partnership with Grandin Road shows off your style for beautiful outdoor furnishings with huge pops of color pieces. What else is coming out of your bag of skittles?

We have so much shortly, but you will have to wait and see. My furniture collection with Grandin Road is a dream come true! My current skittles also include and have included: a bath and kitchen towel collection.  My art that is currently for sale through Pennylane publishing, wall coverings through muralsyourway.com, a fantastic opportunity with Coffeemate, and currently I am the creative consultant for Dupont Corian and Zodiaq hard surfaces - that is just to name a few. I am blessed, and I hope more blessings will continue to come.


There is a fab tattoo on your chest that states ‘Limited Edition’. In the design industry you have pioneered what it means to be a brand more than a limited edition. How do you continue to grow your brand and ensure it will not be limited by anything?

Well, it does not only say "limited edition," below that it says 1/1 so I will not be duplicated! LOL. I have no rules or limitations with branding myself. I am willing and eager to dip my creative fingers in anything that may come my way! It is fantastic and exciting!


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*This interview was previously published. Due to the inspiring nature of the feature and rebranding of the original platform which is now BCG Publications all rights reserved for re-publish on beautycocktailsgirltalk.com.*

#GOODMEN, BCG in The City

#GOODMEN chat with Jay Manuel in New York

“Beauty is more than just makeup; it starts from within” as Jay Manuel put it. Our host, Ashley Kelley interviews one of NYC BEAUTYCON’s biggest names, Jay Manuel. Watch as Jay shares insight on self-empowerment, his style and his brand new cosmetic line that is leading its way to the top of the beauty industry. 


Photography by #TTFMag. Tony Di Carlantonio


#GOODMEN Robert Passal, Founder of Robert Passal Interior Design and Architecture

Robert shares his top 5 essentials to making an eclectic room more sophisticated.

Here’s how it’s done:

1. Lighting

Install dimmers on all overhead lighting folks. Eclectic or not, use dimmers and three-way bulbs in all lamps. I recommend the 30-70-100 watt bulbs.

2. Contrasting Elements

When mixing eras, the furnishings need to be contrasting not vintage and modern. I am talking about a 19th century Bergere in its original state placed beside a Donald Judd painting.

3. Like Things Go Together

Build collections of goods that interest you. Start with a family heirloom that is precious to you or some great trinket you have picked up in your travels. Slowly build that collection and place all of the items in one area for impact. I have a tremendous collection of decorative boxes which I have collected for twenty years. I have the majority of them placed on a table in my home so that the combination creates the "WOW" factor. If I had one box on a bookcase, another on my cocktail table and others disbursed throughout the house, there would be no "WOW" factor.

4. "MIP" Make It Personal

Bring in items and furnishings from your past that you adore. In purchasing new goods, if you do not absolutely love it do not buy it. That is my rule for all purchases, home assets or others.

5. Don't Be Afraid to Buy Art & Accessories for Your Home.

Art brings personality, interest, and warmth to space. It does not have to be expensive, just tasteful. There are a tremendous amount of online sources where you can find fantastic affordable art. I also adore vintage art found at flea markets, on eBay or even on the streets of New York. Don't second guess yourself on these purchases. If you love it buy it.


Photo courtesy of  Robert Passal

Brace yourselves as I am about to give you realness. In the inside world of interior design, Robert Passal is the MAN! (Practically the Designer’s Don in my opinion.) This New York based interior designer not only gives inspiration through his design work but has other interior designers drinking up his delightful décor Koolaid. You are about to get schooled on how this player deals with celebrity clients to share his secrets on styling remarkable showhouses. In fact, I will be sharing exclusive VIP details on how YOU can experience this year’s most highly recognized showhouse, which Robert throws down in for yourself. 

‘The key to great design is capturing the spirit of the client and the essence of the space’ I’m not sure who said this but whomever it is, they have truly hit the nail on the head.
— Robert Passal


For some strange reason, I think under all that fashionable style you have, there is a man comfortable enough to wear sweats and eat baked goods on his down time. Please confirm my theory.

Who told you that? You have got me there. I have a terrible weakness for baked goods, muffins, doughnuts. You bake it, and unfortunately, I will eat it. The problem is that I have to balance this with spending more time than I'd actually like at the gym which is where the sweats usually come into the picture. On the other hand, there's nothing better than spending a lazy Sunday on the sofa (with my boo, a muffin and the NY Times) in sweats and a T. I have actually shown up at the office recently in workout gear and my associates asked if everything was ok...LOL!


You work with an array of wealthy clients. Celebrities are notorious for being demanding and challenging. You seem to be brilliant at managing personalities as your design work reflects control and detail. How do you manage your client’s expectations?

When you meet celebrities and uber high profile clients you go into the meeting with preconceived notions as to whom you think they are. I always take their public persona is not a reflection of who they truly are. My secret weapon for managing expectations on all levels is LISTENING. I have found that listening to what clients’ needs, wants, and goals are the key. The rest is interpreting what they are thinking, figuring out whom they are sleeping with and, using my intuition in knowing when to forward the invoices.


I love that you get to the bottom of what a client’s style is by viewing their Pinterest boards. Do you use other platforms to learn more about your customers and produce a space that is unique to them?

We have a developed questionnaire of twenty-five challenging questions that we forward to clients before beginning their projects. The questions give us insight into their lives and their past. I also spend a good amount personal time getting to know my clients. I will often have several dinners and, or cocktails; I ask to see their current residence in its current state which is always quite telling. We get comfortable with each other, and the relationships grow from there. I consider beginning a new project like dating. After a few dates (meetings in our case), you start to get more comfortable with each other. I have had a client joke and asked, "Is the install the climax?" Ummm, yes, I would have to agree with that one in this case nevertheless.


We cannot talk about your design process without mentioning your Showhouse work. We have intel from our resources admit when asking to “man” a Showhouse room they specifically request to guard yours. What is your approach to designing a Showhouse room that instantly gets attention and a fan following?

That is the first time I am hearing that and beyond flattered. Showhouses just for the record is an insane amount of work. We have approximately four weeks to conceptualize the design, shop, and deliver and install your space. It is genuinely nerve-racking. I have learned many things throughout the years in regards to these showcases. Mainly that women are your audience and they pretty much win every time. That being the case I opt for spaces that have a somewhat feminine edge (not too feminine as you do not want to scare the husbands off...They write the checks) and that has a distinct personality. Just like a home, it is truly the personal aspects of the space that make it feel like a home. I bring in some of my accessories, art and often furnishings. I also build a story about the homeowners. It is usually something a bit silly but memorable. Lastly, I always have something in the space that folks remember so that when they are referencing the room, they can identify it. A good example is when I designed the master bedroom for the Hampton Showhouse, aside for the large apple green velvet bed that was floating in the middle of the room; I set up a Scrabble board on a day bed... Well OK, a dirty/suggestive Scrabble board with words that were memorable.


 Your design work looks very collected, from the art to antiques to even new construction. You exude classic appeal. Will you soon be developing such curated pieces for the world to obtain themselves?

My goal over the next year is to make my designs accessible to the general public. I have been developing my fabrics and have produced furnishings (interior and exterior) and rugs with some fabulous vendors and artisans. I am striving for a product that is stately yet approachable and affordable as I feel that there is a lack of reasonably priced, detailed, high-quality furnishings available to the general public. I have also been meeting with developers and hoteliers and will keep you all posted on that front. I am thinking grand scale these days. 

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*This interview was previously published. Due to the inspiring nature of the feature and rebranding of the original platform which is now BCG Publications all rights reserved for re-publish on beautycocktailsgirltalk.com.*